Posted on 29 May 2013.
Captain Six writes:
This article originally presented by Station.6.Underground
Officer Jason Ellis was shot multiple times early Saturday morning on an off-ramp leading from the Bluegrass Parkway to Highway 55 in Nelson County, Kentucky. The K-9 officer was on his way home from work in a marked cruiser, but did not have his dog with him, when he was ambushed and killed by multiple shots from a 12-gauge shotgun. He is the first officer killed in the line of duty in the 150-year history of the Bardstown police force. Motorists discovered his body at around 3 a.m. and phoned 911. The former Cincinnati Reds professional baseball player leaves behind a wife and two children.
It is understandable that his fellow officers would feel a great deal of anger over such a seemingly senseless act of violence. What is not so understandable, is why Chief Rick McCubbin would make a public statement that sounds as if he hopes the suspect or suspects are killed, rather than be put on trial. It is one thing to feel human emotion after an event like that, to feel the need for revenge. It is quite another for a highly trained former U.S. Marshal with 25 years of law-enforcement experience to make a press statement like this…
“I can assure you we won’t give up on this person or persons until we either have them in custody or in the front sight of one of our weapons. I certainly hope the latter is the choice.” -Chief McCubbun
The police are not a judge, nor a jury, nor serve the public as executioners. It is this very mentality of shoot first and ask questions later which leads criminals to justify the slaughter cops in cold blood. A murder begets murder cycle of violence, rather than justice. Of course, there will be those that argue “so be it” and that it will “save taxpayers money in the long run” when police kill suspects on sight. But if we are really meant to condone this reasoning as a matter of policy, we might just as well shut down the courts entirely, burn the Constitution and get the ovens fired up in the concentration camps.
It is one thing to feel like you want to go out and get swift revenge. It is quite another for the police to say, in essence, that they will kill a suspect if they can get away with it. It’s not the flashing lights or shiny pins, it’s not the paycheck paid from tax dollars, or being a good shot with a gun that makes a police officer. The police are expected to “take the high road”so to speak, to be the better people. After all, it is this very principle above all others which defines the police officer, or which once did anyway. The principle which separates the police from the criminals. The ideal which makes the police the heroes in the first place.
Too often today though, it seems as if the opposite has become true, both in the eyes of the public, and in the courtroom. Instead of police being held to a higher standard, they are simply given a pass for criminal behavior and betrayals of public trust. Such a haven from justice creates a caste of criminality and thuggery for which there is no accountability. It is not acceptable to say that because a person spends his days doing good, that on occasion we should look the other way so that he can brutalize and murder. Yet that has become the predominant trend in our society today with our complacent acceptance of police wrongdoing.
Of course, anytime that police wrongdoing is brought up, the mind deflects the horror of what we are seeing, and instead refers to the argument of casuists, for whom the police can do no wrong. There is always the “few bad apples” argument, or the argument that there are a lot of cops out there who do a lot of good for the public, each and every day. And of course this is true, there are a lot of police officers out there who are genuine heroes, but that is entirely irrelevant when considering whether a cop is guilty of murder, or perhaps plans to commit murder. It is also entirely beside the point, if the police happen to kill someone who turns out to be the wrong person or otherwise entirely innocent.
Then again, maybe the idea of the good cop is something we should take a closer look at in this particular case. What follows here is a hypothetical example of sorts, made to demonstrate the perils of murdering suspects. Let us go right ahead and assume that the murdered police officer, Jason Ellis, was indeed every bit the American hero he appears to have been. There is no reason to believe otherwise. Let us question the circumstances of his death though, as any good investigator should.
The officer was on his way home from work at the end of his shift. He was driving in a marked police unit, but it was a “pool car” rather than his regular K-9 SUV unit. His dog was not with him. This pool unit was not equipped with recording devices like most standard police vehicles today. These pool cars are usually a sort of “reserve” unit, usually an older model near-retirement, used more as an errand vehicle than for regular patrols and therefore not fully equipped with the latest gadgetry.
The officer did not radio to headquarters/dispatch that there was an emergency, but he appears to have stopped on the freeway ramp to clear an obstruction in the roadway, or perhaps to assist what may have appeared to be a disabled motorist. There is debris along the roadway which appears as if a tree or limb might have been dragged or fell into the roadway, or that a vehicle went off of the roadway. His emergency lights were flashing when state police arrived at the scene, to find him dead. The officer was killed by multiple gunshot wounds from a 12-gauge shotgun. The officer’s pistol remained secured in his holster. Some reports state that he was found in his vehicle, others say he was found laying outside of it. Crime scene investigators were seen concentrating around a knoll overlooking the scene, thick with brush and a small tree.
We should also consider that it is not very common for police to be killed randomly, or simply as targets of opportunity. In this case, it appears as if the officer may have been ambushed, and even that the attack was planned ahead of time. Whatever caused him to stop must have appeared to be so mundane that he had no reason to radio for assistance even though he was off duty, or that the attack happened so fast he never had a chance to radio for help.
Was this officer set up to be killed in an ambush, or did he simply stumble upon a cold-blooded killer, randomly, on a remote roadway in the dead of night? One would think that the police themselves would be anxious to answer that question. Especially the Chief who is responsible for the officers in his command. Instead of answers though, the Chief is voicing his opinion that he would just rather murder the suspect and be done with it.
This would be an awfully convenient way of murdering a police officer, and getting away with it, either directly or indirectly.
Let’s imagine for a moment that the officer who was killed, might have stumbled upon something he shouldn’t have at some other time. Some political intrigue and corruption perhaps, or maybe evidence of an ongoing criminal enterprise within the department. Only examples of course, but again to illustrate that the possibility exists this crime may not have been entirely random. The facts that he was killed on his way home from work, without his dog, in an under-equipped vehicle, in a remote location, and was not robbed of his firearm are all clues which suggest he was not killed randomly. Perhaps too, it was someone he worked with, who would know exactly what sort of highway hazard Officer Ellis would not bother to call in on the radio for.
Considering these points, it makes it all the more suspicious why the Chief of police would be calling for the murder of a suspect. Perhaps a suspect who was a trigger man in a larger plot? Perhaps a suspect who had no involvement at all, but who will be marked as guilty and rubbed out, closing the case and any further investigation.
This is not to say this is actually the story of what has happened there in Kentucky. This theory is just that, a theory, based on a few strange tidbits of information, to illustrate a point. It is not simply in the interest of protecting the rights of a suspect, who may or may not actually be guilty, but also in the interest of the victims of a crime, to make sure that a suspect is brought to justice rather than killed. It is in the interest of the police themselves, to protect themselves from being killed in this sort of plot. It is in the interest of the “good cops” that they cannot so easily be snuffed out, should they happen upon criminality within their ranks.
If it turns out that this cop-killer is just that, a plain old-fashioned monster, then let that be proven in a trial, and let the killer then be strapped to an electric char or have a fatal needle shoved in their arm, so be it. But if there is more to the story, or if the person who the police zero in on turns out to be innocent, these are reasons enough why the police should not be in the business of murder.